Episode 22. Mental Health, Well-Being, and Resiliency

FMBA Nation Host Bill Brower Sits down with Dr. Michael Bizzarro to discuss a look into what we as first responders can do to battle the stressors we are exposed to everyday. Mental health and personal well being are just two of the hot topics discussed in the first responder community and we need to make more of an effort within ourselves to come to grips with the effects that this cumulative trauma has on our everyday heroes.

"When you're a first responder, you don't have the privilege or luxury to allow your emotions to get in the way because you may respond to a horrific scene where you know, your responsibility is saving life, controlling the scene, and taking command. So could you imagine if your emotions got in the way of you being able to do that? You wouldn't be able to perform your job. Not only that, but the people that we're serving, they look to you and us to be pillars of strength to help them to difficult times. Whether it's a deserved responsibility or not, it is what it is and you're tasked with that responsibility and then like a switch, you're supposed to flip it off when the event is over and move on as if nothing happened. Go home. You may have kids that are gonna run to the door and meet you. Your wife is or your significant other or whoever it may be wants to greet you. What was your day like? And the last thing you want to do is you want to talk about the extrication or The child who drowned in the pool or the kids you couldn't rescue."

"I guess the sad part is those are the ones that leave the strongest impact. Just because it's a, a rescue or a positive experience doesn't mean you're immune from the trauma that comes with that, I think sometimes what happens is we don't realize the difficulty of the situation or event until afterwards when we have, you know, because adrenaline's going. I mean, you're just, you know, the fight, flight response is kicked in. You're ready to do what you need to do. And then when everything settles down, you know, reality kind of comes in and says, wow, what just happened?"

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New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association